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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Albuquerque.

Wednesday
Oct012014

Vista del Norte Park Opens Thursday

(ALBUQUERUQUE, N.M) -- Albuquerque officials will cut a ribbon on the city's newest park Thursday for the grand opening of Vista del Norte.

The latest addition to the city's 298 parks will serve as a year-round multiple-use area with a future landing field for balloonists.

“We are the ballooning capital of the world and happy to help support our balloonist community by providing functional spaces that conveniently serve multiple purposes and help highlight our great city,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry.

The first completed phase of the 22-acre park includes 10 acres with grass, a walking path, entryway landscaping, and 123 parking spaces.

The next stage of construction will feature three full-size soccer fields, parking, and a play area.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct012014

Update: Police Rule Man's 'Suspicious' Death a Homicide, Identify Body

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M) -- Police deemed the "suspicious" death of a man a homicide Tuesday, continuing an investigating to discover the circumstances leading up to the victim's death.

Bernalillo County Sheriff officials responded to a call of 44-year-old Michael Giron lying in the middle of the road Sunday afternoon, pronouncing him dead at the scene.

Police said Giron suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and are waiting on an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact detectives at 505-798-7000.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct012014

US Energy Dept. to Keep Nuclear Waste Facility near Carlsbad Closed Through 2015 

(CARLSBAD, N.M.) -- The U.S. Energy Department announced on Tuesday that it would keep the New Mexico nuclear waste facility closed through 2015, following an underground fire and radiation leak earlier this year.

According to the DOE, operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., were suspended following the fire and leak in February.

The facility is the only one in the U.S. for the dumping of nuclear waste.

"Safety is our top priority," said Mark Whitney, the acting assistant secretary for the DOE's Office of Environmental Management. "...I'm confident we will be able to safely and compliantly resume operations in the first quarter of 2016."

The facility is built 2,000 feet below the desert in salt mines. While it had only accepted low-level nuclear waste from the U.S. nuclear weapons program, officials had hoped to upgrade its permits to accept high-level nuclear waste.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep302014

Acoma Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty in Assault Case 

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M) -- A 44-year-old Acoma Pueblo man pleaded guilty Monday to a federal assault charge, admitting to attacking his victim with a wooden axe handle in May.

Officials arrested Robert Lucero on May 21 after he assaulted another member of the Native American tribe while on the reservation.

The victim suffered serious injury, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Lucero is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and intent to do bodily harm, among other counts. Under a plea agreement, he faces two years in federal prison, followed by supervised release.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep302014

Man Arrested After Breaking into Neighbor's Home 

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- Police arrested an Albuquerque man Saturday after he allegedly broke into his neighbor's home and attempted to take jewelry.

Police arrived in the 8800 block of Round Rock SW around 1:30 p.m. after a caller said they saw a man entering a back window in a nearby home.

After officers surrounded the perimeter, the suspect, Isaac Ortiz, exited the front door with the victim's jewelry still in his possession, police said Monday.

Investigation revealed that Ortiz lives next door to the victim and was breaking in while they were gone. He faces charges of residential burglary, larceny, and possession of burglary tools.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep302014

Authorities Investigating 'Suspicious' Death

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- Authorities are investigating what they're calling a man's suspicious death on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department, a man was found lying in the middle of the road. He was declared dead at the scene.

The victim was a man in his 40's. His cause of death has not yet been determined.

Investigators are treating his death as suspicious. Anyone with information is asked to call 505-798-7000.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

City to Induct Author Rudolfo Anaya on Albuquerque Wall of Fame 

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- The city of Albuquerque is set to induct author, teacher and poet Rudolfo Anaya to its Wall of Fame.

Anaya, who officials called "the godfather of contemporary Chicano literature," will be the second-ever inductee.

Mayor Richard Berry, among other officials, will celebrate the author's work in a ceremony at the Alvarado Transportation Center on Tuesday morning.

“Our Wall of Fame honors people of achievement who have contributed positively toward making our community better,” Berry said. “Rudolfo Anaya, through his descriptive narratives has positively opened up Albuquerque and New Mexico to the world.”

Anaya attended ALbuquerque High School and the University of New Mexico, then went on to teach English in local public schools. It was during his tenure as a teacher of literature that he penned his famous work, Bless Me, Ultima.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

US Marshals Arrest Man Wanted for August Murder

Albuquerque Police Department(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- U.S. Marshals arrested an Albuquerque man  linked to an August murder.

Carmel Gutierrez was wanted for the death of Mary Ellen Gutierrez, who was found in an empty lot north of 309 Utah SE on the morning of Aug. 14. Officials determined the cause of her death to be the result of an attack and potential sexual assault.

Witnesses told police they observed a man and woman who appeared to be having sex in the lot, after which the victim was heard screaming and the man was seen holding a cement cinder block covered in blood. The suspect fled the scene and was later identified as Guitierrez.

U.S. Marshals took the suspect into custody in Arizona on Sunday evening.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep292014

Fire Reported at Aamco Transmission

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A car was reportedly on fire inside Aamco Transmission on Saturday.

Witnesses told the fire department that the blaze started when a race car was being worked on inside the garage. The fire was under control quickly and the structure only suffered smoke damage.

No injuries were reported.

According to the fire department, the fire is being ruled accidental.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep262014

NM Dept. of Health Reports First Flu Case of Season

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- The New Mexico Department of Health reported Thursday the first case of influenza of the season in Bernalillo County.

According to the department, a 94-year-old man was hospitalized and determined to have the flu. There was no immediate information regarding the patient's condition.

Last year's first flu case was also reported in mid-September.

"With the first influenza case reported, I want to remind New Mexicans about the importance of getting an influenza vaccine," Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward said.

The state recommends everyone over six months of age should receive the flu vaccine each flu season. Additional steps to help prevent flu transmission can be found on the Department of Health's website.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio